Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese has released a statement expressing disappointment regarding the unanimous Supreme Court decision upholding a federal law that requires universities to allow military recruiters on campus, circumventing anti-discrimination measures. The case did not consider the constitutionality of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“The American government shouldn’t be in the business of sidestepping anti-discrimination policies. This case didn’t even address the military policy keeping recruiters at bay from thousands of patriotic Americans who want to serve but can’t.
“With substantial support for overturning ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ it’s past time for the military to level the playing field. Americans don’t care if the person who catches Osama Bin Laden is gay or straight; they just want him caught.”
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights was a free speech challenge to a law known as the Solomon Amendment, which denies funding to universities that enforce their non-discrimination policies against military recruiters just like other potential employers. Because of the military’s ban on open service by gay, lesbian and bisexual troops, several universities with policies prohibiting anti-gay discrimination were threatened with a loss of funding.
The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in November 2004 that the schools were allowed to enforce their own policies. The 8-0 decision overturned the earlier decision.
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